Memphis: Winner interview

RON HORNADAY, NO. 33 CAMPING WORLD SILVERADO, RACE WINNER: Ron, this is your first race win after turning fifty years old. "Well, first of all my thoughts and prayers are with Eric Darnell. I know he wanted to win this race really bad because...

RON HORNADAY, NO. 33 CAMPING WORLD SILVERADO, RACE WINNER:

Ron, this is your first race win after turning fifty years old.

"Well, first of all my thoughts and prayers are with Eric Darnell. I know he wanted to win this race really bad because his roommate was killed this week."

Ron were you worried on those last few laps that something was going to go wrong?

"No, Rick Carelli is my spotter knows this place really well and actually I believe it was back in 1999 that he got hurt really bad here and has a lot of respect for this race track and I do too. Winning this thing is awesome because we've had it taken away from us in many different scenarios. Rick Carelli and Rick Ren didn't say anything to me during that red flag. They were just telling me about the oil on the track and where it was at and stuff like that and told me that the track looks pretty good so it should be good for us.

"I just sat there and thought okay we've got a flat tire, okay the engine's not going to start, or the blower is not going to work and I'm going to get sweat in my eyes and run into the fence. Those are the scenarios you think to yourself. But Rick Carelli, my spotter, and Rick Ren and all the guys in the pit crew never said a word so they gave me my ten minutes of quietness to think about how I am going to lose this race myself."

Looks like you are going to have a little battle here with Matt Crafton for the championship, at least at midseason. How old was Matt when you first ran across him out there in California and you were racing his dad?

"All I remember is that Matt used to ride the dogs around. He had some big old Rottweilers or whatever those things were. He used to ride those dogs.

"But I tell you, Chevrolet has come a long ways with what they have been doing and they've done their homework a lot the last year to run with the other manufacturers and its paying off a lot this year. The way you see what Crafton is doing and what you see what Chevrolet and Silverado is doing for our team. It's a testament of Jack (Sprague) running good and every Chevrolet out there is running real well this year. I am very proud of what everyone is doing and Crafton, he's bearing down, he's doing good and running awesome. You get that first win and you get a little hunger in your eyes and he's definitely been driving it, and definitely wants to win some more.

"That was probably the hardest race I have run this year so far. I wanted that trophy really bad and I know we've got one more year and that Elvis trophy is the coolest thing in the world. I wanted Texas bad but Memphis is cool. I've come close at Nashville and I need a guitar. I've got a couple from my fans but I've never gotten any from winning a race so I got the Elvis trophy.

"We were really good in practice yesterday and we did a qualifying run and we were terrible. So Rick Ren stayed up all night long just thinking about it and he made some very minor changes, but he must have done ten changes and it seemed to work for the best."

Back to those final restarts. More often than not, this race has been won with somebody using the bumper. I guess you were thinking about that in the end?

"Yeah, I mean there's two ways to do it. If you don't pull away from them on the front straightaway and get into turn one clean you can go in there about five miles an hour faster cause they are going to try and run into the back of you. I know Eric (Darnell) wanted this race for his buddy, but I wouldn't have blamed Eric if he turned me sideways because he wanted that win. But I had a good feeling we were going to win this thing and I hated to be the one to take it from him but its racing and you have to race hard and it was a good race."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Matt Crafton , Rick Carelli